Keep an eye out for the bright ‘Love Your Street’ stickers being posted around the borough in the coming weeks as Merton Council spreads the love this Valentine’s with a new anti-litter campaign, uniting the council, businesses and residents against litter.
Although residents give street cleansing a positive rating, the 2014 annual residents’ survey showed that people dropping litter is a top concern. The council launched the Love Your Street campaign to boost the positive work it already does with residents, community groups, schools and businesses to keep Merton clean. The council faces having to make £32million of cuts over the next four years due to a reduction in funding from central government and it is hoped that this campaign will help to reduce the £5million that is spent on keeping Merton clean every year, by raising awareness of the impact littering has on the environment.
Pledge your commitment and be in with a chance to a win £100 voucher
As part of the Love Your Street campaign, the council has set up a way for residents, businesses, schools and community groups to unite against litter and demonstrate their pride in their local community. The council published its anti-litter code last year which sets out what residents can expect from the council and how residents can help to stop people littering the borough. People can show their commitment by signing up to a pledge, taken from this anti-litter code, to show their commitment to keeping Merton clean and taking pride in where they live. When people sign up to the pledge they will receive a campaign sticker to stick in their window to demonstrate their support for those who work hard to keep the borough tidy, making a stand against the small minority of people who litter. Residents who sign up to the pledge will be automatically entered into a draw for a £100 One4all voucher every three months. The prize vouchers have been sponsored by eddisonwhite estate agents.
As part of the Love Your Street campaign, there will also be a new quarterly e-newsletter, giving residents updates about what the council is doing to keep the borough clean as well as information about community clean-ups and events taking place in parks. Community groups are welcome to submit their event details to the e-newsletter. To sign up to the pledge and to submit event details for the newsletter, people can visit the Love Your Street webpage.
With several Street Champions clean-ups taking place last year and many residents and community groups getting involved, the council is on-hand to give advice to those who want to organise clean-ups and make-overs in their street with the help of its waste enforcement team. An annual awards ceremony will also be held during the summer to acknowledge the people in the community who go above and beyond to help make Merton a clean and tidy borough.
Residents don’t have to get involved in community clean-ups to be part of the campaign – they can show their support by being the eyes and ears of the community, reporting missed collections, litter, fly-tipping or even making the council aware of broken street lamps and graffiti. Reports can be made through the Love Clean Streets phone app that was launched last year.
The council will be working with schools and businesses who sign up to the pledge, providing interactive classes for the borough’s pupils as well as advice to businesses about how they can do their bit to keep the borough clean.
The campaign marks the council’s new approach in its ongoing fight against litter and fly-tipping by boosting the positive work it does with residents, businesses, community groups and schools across the borough. As well as spending over £5million keeping Merton’s streets clean every year, educating people about the effects of environmental crime and being tougher on people who drop litter, this campaign is the latest initiative in the council’s anti-litter campaign. This follows the council’s partnership with environmental enforcement specialists, on-the-spot £75 penalty charge notices, the installation of special gum and cigarette butt bins across the borough and new high tech smart bins in parks.
Merton Council’s cabinet member for environmental cleanliness and parking, Councillor Judy Saunders said: “Merton is a great place to live but a small minority of people continue to litter our streets. We know that many residents work hard to keep their neighbourhood clean and the Love Your Street campaign is about recognising that commitment, taking a stand against litter and showing pride in our local area. If getting out and about to clean up isn’t your thing, you can still show your support by being the eyes and ears of the community and reporting issues that need to be addressed. Our clean teams are out around the clock clearing up litter and fly-tips and we want to work with residents, businesses and schools to show that we will not accept littering in Merton.”
Notes to editors:
- Merton Council’s pledge
Merton Council has already made its pledge to keep Merton clean and tidy through its anti-litter code, published last year, which sets out all the street cleaning the work it does. To see the pledge, visit merton.gov.uk/anti-littercode
- Street Champions scheme
To find out more about the Street Champions training scheme, visit merton.gov.uk/StreetChampions.